As we turned back from the river bank and came back towards Thandi Sarak and Mota saal near Dhikala FRH, the sun was on our back and I saw these beautifully lit up Green Bee eaters sitting and flying around in the long grass. I asked Danis Malik to stop the vehicle and kill the engine for few minutes.
We sat there, enjoyed these beautiful and agile creatures flying around and catching food in the form of flying bees. It was a delight to watch these beauties.
The green bee-eater (Merops orientalis) (also known as little green bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and the Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water.
Like most other bee eaters, these are also slender birds which are very brightly coloured. These are about 7-8 inches in length and an additional 2 inches being added by elongated central tail feathers. Whole plumage is bright green with blue shade on the cheek, chin and throat. The wings when open, are orange on the underside. The nape and upper back has golden shade and the flight wings are tipped with black. A black strip starts near the black beak and goes towards the back of the eyes. A fine black line on the chest marks the end of throat. Eyes are crimson and shine bright. Feet are grey and three toes, which are joint at the base.